Iola Reading Festival organizers Roger Carswell and Beck Nilges have gathered a full list of presenters for Saturday’s program — 16 authors that represent many areas of writing. The festival begins at 10 a.m. on the Allen Community College campus. All activities are free and are open to the public.
FROM THE HISTORICAL side of the spectrum, the festival has invited Dorinda Nicholson to speak about her novels, “Pearl Harbor Child” and “Pearl Harbor Warriors.” Nicholson is a Hawaiian native, and she has used her experience in Pearl Harbor to inspire her work. A graduate of the University of Missouri – Kansas City, her work has been featured in People Magazine, the Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel.
For those interested in art, Stephen T. Johnson, a graduate of the University of Kansas, has produced a “broad range” of art from collages to paintings and sculptures. His book, “Alphabet City,” won the New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year. Other children’s art books that he has published include “City of Numbers,” “My Little Red Toolbox,” and “A is for Art.”
A blend of history and mystery is the goal for Lone Elm, Kan., native Charlotte Hinger. An author and historian, she has spent her time emphasizing the connection between historical investigation and mystery writing. Currently she is working on her Lottie Albright mystery series — the first two books were published in 2010 and 2011.
Matthew Polly may have one of the more interesting resumes as a speaker for Saturday’s festival. His non-fiction work has been published in Esquire, Slate and The Nation. It might be an understatement to say that Polly dives “head-first” into his work. He has spent time training with the monks who invented the art of Kung-Fu for his book “American Shaolin,” and has trained and competed as a mixed martial arts fighters for his book “Tapped Out.”
For those looking to find some inspiration from their visit to the festival, Kim Vogel Sawyer will be speaking about her book, “A Home in Drayton Valley.” A self-described “born-again child of the king,” Sawyer spends her time sharing her work with others. After moving on from teaching in 2006, Sawyer felt the call to help others by sharing her personal struggles and triumphs through her writing.
Additional authors for the festival are Thomas Fox Averill, Roy Bird, Kelly Enright, Steven Michael Farney, Laura Moriarty, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Anola Pickett, Marci Penner, Tim Raglin, Barbara Stuber and Clare Vanderpool.
THE FESTIVAL will provide attractions for both children and adults throughout the day.
For the creative genius inside all of us, people can head to the “Make-N-Take” room for a variety of activities. Festival organizers will have materials for making a “book snake,” a weight meant to keep books open without damaging the spine. Also, people can create their own wacky reading glasses, personalized bookmark or even their own book.
Festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a “story hour” at the beginning of each hour along with the speakers during the day. In the afternoon, there will be a presentation on E-readers, titled “Downloadable Books made EZ,” as well as a “Rare Book Roadshow,” where people can bring in their old and rare books to be appraised by a book seller.
For more information regarding the Iola Family Reading Festival, visit the Iola Public Library website at iola.mykansaslibrary.org.